Underbar

22 Jan 2018

Liana of @findingfemme

Something I love about Ballarat, which is true even now, is that you never know all the city’s secrets. It doesn’t matter who you know, how long you have lived here, this city always has something more to give to you. I have lived here most of my life. I have explored this city’s history, I have explored it’s underground tunnels, I have known many of the city’s councillors, journalists and businesspeople. I still discover something new about Ballarat every day.


Underbar Ballarat

Underbar Ballarat

Underbar Ballarat

The latest treasure that I have collected and held to my heart is the experience of eating at Underbar. It’s entirely plausible that you haven’t heard of Underbar. They don’t need to advertise. They don’t have prominent signage at the front of their restaurant. In fact, unless you knew what you were looking for, you would have likely walked past and you probably already have walked past unwittingly. In line with an auto parts store and a real estate agent, with unassuming curtained windows, you will find one of the city’s finest and most delicious dining experiences. And for now, it’s a secret treasured only by a few locals. But it won’t stay that way for long. As of leaving the venue at the end of our dinner, there was a sitting for two people as the only sitting left for all of February.

Underbar Ballarat

Underbar Ballarat

The room is minimalist and intimate. Your first view on entering will be of the subway-tiled kitchen, where the chef looks over the counter to a simple and modern dining area. It feels like being in the chef’s own home. A feel that is helped by the lamps and wooden bar cabinet. There’s also a single long dining table, holding only twelve seats. A sitting arrangement that makes it impossible for your neighbours to keep their reactions to the food secret from you or for you to hide yours from them. You’ll hear their comments as they put names to the flavours blending in their mouths. It’s intimate and you can’t disappear. The intimacy will hold you in the room as much as the flavours will.

Underbar Ballarat

Underbar Ballarat

Both the food and the service are precise. It’s that level of exactness that makes the experience capable of being so exquisite. If you get the matched wines, be aware you’ll have the encounter amplified. The evening was so good that even with a full belly and days since it happened, I’m still longing for the sweetness of the lemon meringue on my lips, the savoury of the broth and the feeling of exploring my sense of taste in a way which I rarely have the opportunity. This is a degustation adventure delivered unlike any other in this city. If you’re considering exploring the experience of Underbar, do it sooner rather than later. A secret that's this good can’t be known only by a few for long.

Location: Underbar
Photos: me and Mathew Collins

Underbar Ballarat

Underbar Ballarat


Underbar Ballarat


Underbar Ballarat

- L
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